The Yankees fell to the Baltimore Orioles 4-1 on Friday night in Tampa.
Here are a few key takeaways from Friday’s game …
– In his final spring training start before taking the ball on Opening Day, Gerrit Cole only allowed two hits, but he had to deal with traffic on the base paths early. In the second, Tyler Wade committed back-to-back errors to put two on with none out for the O’s. But Cole was able to get two flyouts and a Freddy Galvis strikeout to get out of the inning unscathed.
Cole settled in, though, in the fourth and fifth innings, setting down all six hitters he faced, including a Chance Sisco strikeout. In the top of the sixth, he allowed a leadoff single to Cedric Mullens, just the second hit of the night for Baltimore. Mullens stole second base, but Cole retired Trey Mancini on a strikeout and Ryan Mountcastle on a flyout. With two outs in the sixth, Cole’s night came to an end.
The Yankees’ ace had a final line that read 5.2 innings, two hits, zero earned runs and five strikeouts without a walk. His final spring ERA is 2.45.
– After blasting his first home run of the spring on Thursday night against the Phillies, Aaron Judge got his night started strong with a double off of Jorge Lopez in his first at-bat of the game. Judge advanced to third with two outs, but Giancarlo Stanton grounded out on a hard-hit ball to third base to end the early threat.
Judge ended up going 1-for-3 with two strikeouts on the night.
– It was a fairly quiet night for the Yankees’ starting lineup, as they recorded just two hits through their three times through the lineup. DJ LeMaheiu, who so often sets the table for the Yankees, went 0-for-3 and is hitting just .239 this spring. Gary Sanchez went 1-for-3 with a single and a strikeout, but he also had an adventure of an inning behind the plate in the seventh (more on that below).
– For the first time this spring, Aroldis Chapman allowed a run. Entering a scoreless game in the top of the seventh inning, Chapman allowed a leadoff single to Rio Ruiz before uncorking a wild pitch that moved pinch-runner Ramon Urias into scoring position. Austin Hays delivered with a single to center, putting the Orioles up 1-0 and raising Chapman’s ERA from 0.00 to 2.25.
Chapman then allowed a Galvis double to deep left, giving the Orioles men at second and third with nobody out. The Yankees’ closer then threw his second wild pitch of the inning on a fastball in the dirt, scoring the Orioles’ second run. After walking Sisco, Chapman unraveled his third wild pitch of the inning, allowing another run to score.
Chapman left the game after recording just one out, allowing three earned runs on three hits with one strikeouts, one walk, and three wild pitches. His spring ERA jumped from 0.00 to 6.23.
– The Orioles tallied their fourth run of the game in the top of the ninth, as Brooks Kriske allowed a Nick Ciuffo double and a Chris Shaw RBI single.
– Brett Gardner doubled in the bottom of the ninth for the Yankees’ third hit of the game, and Rob Brantly grounded out to score pinch-runner Estevan Florial to give the Yankees’ their only run.
The Yankees are back in action on Saturday afternoon when they take on the Blue Jays at 1:05 p.m.